In the aftermath of all this, right wing radicals are spreading bigoted propaganda about how Blacks in power have some vendetta against whites. In an article, the Washington Post has urged President Obama to “stand up to the ‘reverse racism’ ploy,” but in the current state of affairs that could be political suicide. Or would it?
I grew up in a segregated South of the 1950s and 1960s, knew members of the Ku Klux Klan, and once lived very close to the Mississippi site of the Emmett Till murder. I played in a band that performed at a 1948 States Rights Party—also known as the Dixiecrats Party—rally, where J. Strom Thurmond was running for president. It was held in my then home town of Jackson, Tenn.
My father once took me to a Jackson beer hall when I was old enough to drink, and when I questioned some red necks who were openly disparaging Blacks using the “N” word, we quickly had to leave.
I discovered one day to my horror that one of my best friends was an avid racist; that is after I was finally “admitted” to his “study” where KKK material was all over the walls, on his desk, even piles of it on the floor. I often wondered what effect this had on his children, both of which were pre-teens.
It is hard to maintain an objective outlook on an issue with this kind of peer pressure, much less come to the conclusion that you were anti-racism, which I did, and, from which I have never faltered to this day. Big deal, you might say, but I do think it is. My hope is that there are others like myself out there.